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Would a Deity Care About Morals?

Questioner

James

Reply Date

Apr 23, 2018

Question

Would a deity care very much about human moral ideas? Do you think God or gods would care about our lowly human opinions on stuff being moral or not? A better question, would a deity even care about morals or have such a concept? What is Islam's view on this?

Consultant

Answer


deity care

Short Answer: If God created the rational beings called humans, is it reasonable to conclude that after the creation of man, God stopped taking any interest in the welfare of humans? God has decided that human’s earthly life will be a test. And the test consists of how much one is able to abide by the morals God has revealed to humankind.

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Salam (Peace) James,

Thank you for contacting Ask About Islam with your question.

As you are a non-believer who is curious about God, it would be interesting to know your concept of what you call “a deity”. 

It is evident that in your opinion “God or gods” do not care for the morality or otherwise of human actions.

Probably you are a deist who believes in “the God who created the universe, set it going, left, and hasn’t been seen since.” That is to say, you believe in a Creator as reason demands it, but reject Divine Revelation.

One God in Islam

From the Islamic point of view, there is one God. He is the Creator, Sustainer, Law-Giver, and Ruler of the whole universe and everything in it:

{Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the Guardian and Disposer of all affairs} (Quran 39:62)

Apart from revelation, how do we know that there is God?

Our natural reason may help us to conclude that there is a Creator of the phenomenal world.

And if so, how can we casually decide that the Creator does not care for the welfare of His creation?

If God created the rational beings called humans, is it reasonable to conclude that after the creation of man, God stopped taking any interest in the welfare of humans?

Certainly, man needs a number of special qualities to do the will of God on earth. And God gave man these qualities, and by virtue of his freewill man needs to use these qualities to live by the commandments of God given in the Revelation and taught by the Prophets of God.

By morality we mean man’s submission to the Will of God. If man disobeys God and uses the blessings of God for purposes against God’s Law, that is immorality.

As God is the Creator and Supreme Judge of mankind, God closely watches how man uses His blessings, which include all the human faculties: intellectual, spiritual, and physical qualities.

And God has decided that human’s earthly life will be a test. And the test consists of how much one is able to abide by the morals God has revealed to humankind.

We are aware that God gave us all the blessings needed for our physical life on earth. He has fully designed and charted out all these for us. If so, how can we say that God has left us without any guidance for the attainment of our eternal life?

Indeed, it is improbable that God has left it solely to our own ingenuity to care for our spiritual life. As beings gifted with reason, we can clearly see the limitations of reason too.

There are aspects and levels of our existence, where reason is quite helpless without support from its twin, namely revelation.

Divine Guidance

There is the divine statement in the Holy Quran that everything is created in pairs.

Humans have not only a body, but also a soul.

Just as the worldly part of humans is fulfilled by their rational and physical faculties, their spiritual part can be guided and nourished only by revelation.

That is to say, the role of revelation is to complement reason. One may say, reason needs revelation to find its fulfillment.

From another point of view, man has innate knowledge of the Ultimate Source of Being and of the criterion of good and evil. Reason verifies this knowledge and revelation confirms it.

Potentially, there cannot be any contradiction between reason and revelation, since the Source of the faculty of reasoning and revelation is the same, namely God.

Our morals are derived from revelation rather than from reason. For, we cannot agree with one another on a number of issues related to morality if we are to decide the norms. For instance, our definitions of “good” and “evil” differ widely.

We learn from history how tragedies result when mankind follow their caprice. Because, our own prejudices will influence our definitions of whatever is good for a happy and healthy life on earth.

It is only the Creator who knows the strengths and weaknesses of His creation; He alone knows the overall scheme of creation; and only He can give the rules for our good in this world and the next. 

And God does take an interest in our morals and so He has sent revelations through His prophets. And God Himself says in His Holy Quran, what means:

{And [because He is your Creator,] it rests with God alone to show you the right path: yet there is [many a one] who swerves from it. However, had He so willed, He would have guided you all aright.} (Quran 16:9)

Indeed, the only true source of guidance and standard of morals is God Almighty Himself. To look for another source of morals is an empty enterprise. For instance, science cannot give us the knowledge of morality, which is outside the scope of its activity.

Morality is derived from Divine Revelation; and only morality can help us attain the kind of spiritual uplift that can ultimately lead us to a stage of perfection, as far it is attainable.

We need Allah Almighty’s guidance to tame our carnal selves, and to lead a life of virtue.

Reason is mostly busy with temporal concerns; it is a means of intellectual pursuits and physical survival. Revelation on the other hand leads to the higher purpose of our life. It purifies our hearts, and lights up our path to the Truth of Allah.

From the Quranic point of view, Allah Almighty created humans as His vicegerent or ambassador (khalifah) on earth. That is why He gave humans freedom of will and action, (within limits of course). 

He created the earth and all the blessings therein for the sake of man (Quran 2:29).

And certainly, Allah the All-Merciful guides mankind through His Revelation and Prophets to lead a good life on earth making use of all the blessings He gave to man. And that is part of the Will of God, to which man must submit wholeheartedly.

And Allah knows best. I hope this helps answer your question.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

All You Want to Know About Quran Revelation

If God Really Cares, Let Him Send Me a Miracle!

Characteristics of the Islamic Moral Code

 




About Professor Shahul Hameed

Professor Shahul Hameed is an Islamic consultant. He also held the position of the President of the Kerala Islamic Mission, Calicut, India. He is the author of three books on Islam published in the Malayalam language. His books are on comparative religion, the status of women, and science and human values.


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